The Globe display is a three-dimensional view of geospatial data
capable of mapping terrain relief or other data for an entire planet viewed from space.
Its underlying transformation maps latitude, longitude, and elevation to a
three-dimensional Cartesian frame. All Mapping
Toolbox™ projections transform latitudes and longitudes to map
x- and y-coordinates. The
globe function is special because it can render relative relief
of elevations above, below, or on a sphere. In Earth-centered Cartesian
z is not an optional elevation; rather, it is an axis in
globe is useful for geospatial applications
that require three-dimensional relationships between objects to be maintained, such as
when one simulates flybys, and/or views planets as they rotate.
The Globe display is based on a coordinate transformation, and is not a map projection. While it has none of the distortions inherent in planar projections, it is a three-dimensional model of a planet that cannot be displayed without distortion or in its entirety. That is, in order to render the globe in a figure window, either a perspective or orthographic transformation must be applied, both of which necessarily involve setting a viewpoint, hiding the back side and distortions of shape, scale, and angles.